Ever heard of a kid who gobbled up all the vegetables without complaining? The kind who would frustrate her friends, for the moms of the friends would go into the sing song of the comparing game to why they should eat the vegetables without whining? That kid was me.
I ate everything including bitter gourds, complained when we did not have at least one green everyday and I still do. My girls (and my guy) are good and eat almost all the vegetables; but pumpkin is not one of them. I could not however resist the temptation of getting the fresh of the season, even if it meant I would just be cooking for myself. Here is a small butternut squash which I used to make a soup. Nothing like a creamy, spicy, yellow soup; it tastes sensational (my family would not agree that pumpkins can be sensational), the lovely color is like dazzling sunshine, bright enough to boo the blues !
Here is my Sunshine Soup. I have used fresh ginger as well as the crystalline ginger – I love them. Coconut milk would have made it more creamy, but my pantry was out of it. I have used fresh coconut instead. If you are making this soup, do use the coconut milk for a better texture. I also had a lot of toasted pumpkin seeds from the Jack O Lanterns we made and I have added some of the seeds here. The last thing before I go to the recipe; the Jalapeno Cream rocks on this soup! If you are a spice eater, this is a must.
Gingered Squash Soup
Ingredients: (serves 3)
- 2.5 Cups Peeled and Cubed Pumpkin/Butternut Squash (About 1/2 of a medium sized Butternut Squash)
- 1.5 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
- 2 Dried Red Chili Pepper
- 1/2 Inch Fresh Ginger, peeled and julienned
- 1 Teaspoon Crystalline Ginger, chopped + 1 Tablespoon for garnish
- White Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Roasted Pumpkin Seeds/Pepitas (Shelled)
- 4 Tablespoons of Fresh Grated Coconut + 1 Cup of warm Water (or 1 Cup of Coconut Milk)
- 1 Cup of Water or Vegetable Stock
- Mint (or any other herb of your choice), more Crystalline Ginger, and a Dollop of Sour Cream/Greek Yogurt ( I mixed Jalapeno Pepper with the Sour Cream to make Jalapeno Cream) to Garnish
- Fresh Lime
Note: Feel free to use spices if you want.
Heat Oil, Cumin and Dry Red Chili Pepper in a heavy, thick bottomed pan; cast iron skillet is what I used. When the seeds start to sizzle, add the cubed squash/pumpkin, ginger and black pepper. Cook at high heat while tossing everything in the pan frequently till the sides of the squash/pumpkin cubes brown.
Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of warm water in the pan, add the salt and white pepper, lower the heat to minimum, cover the pan tight and cook till the squash/pumpkin softens and is fork tender. Switch off the heat and cool the pumpkins/squash.
In a blender add everything in the pan, 1 teaspoon crystalline ginger, coconut and all the water/stock (or the coconut milk and the rest of the water) and blend into a smooth soupy consistency. Pour it out in to a saucepan, cover and cook at medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Switch off the heat and keep it covered till it is ready to serve. Just before serving, add a dash of lime juice to the soup and stir in.
Muddle some finely chopped Jalapeno (or any fresh hot pepper), and whisk it with some sour cream/Greek yogurt till well combined.
Pour out the soup in individual bowls; top with some jalapeno cream, some crystalline ginger, mint and pepitas/toasted pumpkin seeds.
The ginger and the pepper wonderfully compliments the sweet of the pumpkin. It was one bowlful of happiness. If you have noticed I have topped the soup with seeds which are not shelled (Do shell them when you are cooking them with the soup). We all munch our seeds with the peels on